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Chukka boots are one of the most versatile shoe types there is for men. A simple shoe that is easily adaptable for different styles and occasions. Chukkas can also be considered as one of the only models one can basically wear throughout the whole year, no matter the weather.

Wrote earlier this week about chukka boots - check the full write-up @tyylit.fi

imageWearing my favorite pair of chukkas from Italian Sutor Mantellassi. 

Different chukka for different use

Depending what you’re after there are a lot of different options to choose from. First there’s soft unlined chukkas like the ones made by Alden that are more robust but so soft and buttery that wears almost like a slipper. The lack of leather lining inside makes the upper more malleable and breathable, making them feel much like a canvas shoe. These kind of chukkas are definitely at their best when paired with denim or more casual chinos and other cotton trousers.

imageUnlined Alden chukka boots made for  Drake’s London. 

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“Launched in May 2010, A&H is a digital magazine dedicated to men who want not only the best out of life but the best out of themselves. We are a collective of men from around the globe, we present unique experiences that span men’s style, travel, cuisine, culture, life and goals.

As the introduction text shows A&H is publication dedicated to men’s style, travel, culture - and to all other beautiful things in life. And they are really doing what they do with dedication and devotion from the bottom of their hearts.

Recently I got the honor the be featured at their ”A Gentleman Named”-series which is a concept created to shine light on men we believe are stylish, interesting, and talented in their own unique way.

You can read my thoughts here - thanks a lot Corey, Neil, Ryan & all the other guys!

Pics courtesy of Neil Watson / A&H Magazine and TSBMen.

It’s already mid-september but let’s not let the summer go just yet as it still seems to be almost 20°C outside. And as I guess the summer will come again eventually - it’s just a right time to take one more look at some summer gear before paying all the attention to fall and winter. On the other hand - it might be only Finland where it’s getting colder.

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Driving moccasin - a shoe for multiple occasions

Even though driving loafers (as they name suggests) might have a history and origin as a shoe for one specific purpose (driving the car), one might nowadays claim that by choosing the right model and wearing it properly, driving mocs are a shoe type that can go a long way in the wardrobe and be worn with more outfits ranging from casual to more dressed up than any other summer shoe, including for example boat shoes, sneakers and other loafers.

They might not be formal enough to be worn for the most formal business meetings but they are certainly dressed up enough to be worn with your cotton suit in the office or for a dinner in restaurant together with a blazer and a tie. They are easy to just put on feet when heading to the grocery store and they are definitely one of the most comfortable choices of footwear for traveling. They can be nicely paired with denim and a button-up and finally they are just the right choice when you are heading out to the beach wearing just a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. 

Just remember one thing - whatever you wear your driving mocs with, you really need to wear them without socks. 

As mentioned in this post about French shoe manufacturer Bexley - I got the chance to check and try out a few pairs from their range of loafers and moccasins. First in line is a pair of sand colored suede Bahama driving mocs - combined here with a navy blue blazer, denim shirt, light brown raw silk tie and white cotton slacks. 

imageDriving mocs are a good choice whenever you need to go between formal and casual. For example a drink with a friend or a lunch in the city.

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What is Bexley?

Name might sound a bit unfamiliar for many - Bexley is a French footwear company, born in 1985 in Lyon, specialized in selling fine and affordable shoes for men - offering classical and fashionable products at a reasonable price as the main objectiveas they say at their website.

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Most interesting about Bexley is definitely the pricing. All dress shoes are priced as 139 euros for the first pair and 89 euros for the second pair. For more casual shoes such as driving shoes, moccasins and sneakers the pricing is 79 euros for the first and 59 euros for the second pair. They’ve also got a full range of shoe care products, accessories, leather goods and even clothing - which all follow basically the same pattern. The more you buy - the cheaper the price.

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Most of Bexley shoes are made in Europe and the leathers come mainly from the tannery of d’Annonay. The lasts and designs are made in house. Bexley does not have any retailers - only their own boutiques (10 in France and one in Brussels) and web shop. A decision that has probably been one of the biggest reason that has helped them to keep the price range as low as it is.

My experiences with Bexley

For me Bexley in fact was one of the first brands (together with Barker and Cheaney) I invested in when I started to build up my shoe rotation and moved from cheaply made Vagabond and such brands to “real leather shoes” with goodyear-welted construction. For a student at that time - the pricing method sounded interesting and gave a chance to get 2 pairs of shoes basically with a price of one pair from many other “semi-quality” makers such as Loake, Sanders, Markowski and others.

image1/2 my first ever Bexley purchase - chocolate brown wholecuts for office use. After a few years of wear they are still holding up nicely.

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One weekend again behind and new week ahead. Started the flannel season on Friday (as can be seen here) and continuing it today by wearing my favorite Mabro blazer (made of Vitale Barberis flannel) for the first time this fall. 

Otherwise going with pretty toned down shades - light denim shirt together with burgundy grenadine tie from Viola Milano and darker grey flannel trousers to keep the balance on the bottom half.

The adelaide oxfords by Alfred Sargent are also one of my favorite pairs for business use - beginning to get some nice patina already.

Blazer: Mabro Shirt: Schoffa (mtm) Trousers: Filippa K

Tie: Viola Milano PS: Berg&Berg Shoes: Alfred Sargent

Shot at the streets of Shoreditch in London and in their own factory facilities at No.3 Haberdasher Street, the fall and winter look book of Drake’s London pays tribute to the area’s rich heritage in textile production. The look book portrays the spirit of Drake’s by being simple yet effective, understated but still elegant and featuring whole range of casual wear, tailored garments and naturally full set of accessories.

The collection itself features outstanding patterns, textures and colors - all effortlessly combined together in the outfits of the look book. In case one needs guidance on how to match colors and patterns - this set of photos is a good piece to start with. Although, if you wanna stay on the safe side of the road - be careful with those colorful socks.

Picked a few of my personal favorites from the look book.

imagePeacoat combined with denim and roll neck sweater - all in shades of blue keeps it casual but still classic. Sand colored suede (together with the purple in socks) brings a nice touch of refreshment here.

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imageNice play here with brown, green, blue and purple. Harmony without clashing.

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imageLightweight, wool, wool-silk and wool-cashmere scarves with bold prints could be described as a “trademark” of Drake’s. Also definitely one of my favorite pieces of the collection together with the printed and eye-catching pocket squares.

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I’ve been really bad and lazy in terms of answering questions but I will try to mend my way on this. I will actually start going through the questions on weekly basis and have every Sunday a round-up of the questions with answers. So if you have something in mind - please feel free to shoot!

And starting with a few couple of questions I’ve got just recently.

Q: “I love the shine on your shoes! What method do you use to take care of / shine them?”

A:

First of all, thanks for this! Although I need to admit that for a while now I haven’t been really active in terms of polishing my shoes. For some reason I’ve more and more into the idea that just basic brushing and wiping with a soft cloth after use are enough to keep them in balance. And then I just let them age and get some patina…

So the most important thing to do for myself - every time after the use I take the pair and brush off the dirt from the uppers and from the soles before putting the shoe trees in and setting the shoes back to rack. And most of times when I take the shoes from the rack in the morning I give them a little wiping with a soft cotton cloth.

For polishing I’ve managed by mainly following the instructions by AFPOS that can be found from here.

To put it shortly - this how I do it.

  1. Brush off the dirt.
  2.  Use the renovator - to condition and moisturize the leather. Applying this with a soft cotton cloth - leaving it for a couple of minutes and then brushing / polishing it off.
  3. After that I use the Pate de Luxe-wax polishes by Saphir, water and soft cotton cloth - going through the shoe piece by piece 
  • Take a soft rag and stretch it over your index and middle finger. Twist the loose ends of cloth until the material is taut over the fingers. Hold the twisted ends as a ball between the thumb and forefinger of the same hand.
  • Put a little water into the lid of the polish tin and dip your rag-covered fingers into it to moisten. Put a little shoe polish on the rag and rub onto the leather using small circular movements without using a lot of pressure. Rub on the same spot until you feel a hardening of the wax and slowly a greasy shine should begin to appear.
  • If this is not the case after about 15 seconds of regular circular rubbing, take a little more wax, dip your fingers in water and repeat the procedure.
  • If the wax still remains soft and you still cannot feel any change, then wait for 30 seconds, take a little more cleaning water and re-work the same spot. When a shine has appeared in one spot, begin with the next. When you have covered the whole shoe in this manner, then lay the next layer over it using more water, less wax and even less pressure. In order to remove the last fine smears the shoe is lightly rubbed with a damp cloth.

So this is mainly how I do it myself.

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To start the week one more set of pics from our trip to Barcelona - featuring a sport coat combination I wore for an evening when we headed out for dinner at the beach in a restaurant called Bestial (definitely worth a recommendation). As most of my outfits during the vacation consisted of shorts and casual button-up shirts (with the sleeves rolled up), this was actually the only time I wore a tie during the whole trip. 

Wearing a light weight, unstructured silk-wool sport coat by Pal Zileri - spread collar denim shirt from Massimo Dutti and high-waisted mtm-trousers from Herrainpukimo. 

To keep the ensemble casual and relaxed but still dressed up to be appropriate for a bit more finer dinner a silk knit-tie from Drake’s London and suede loafers (as well as the pocket square) by Christian Kimber. Bracelets from Viola Milano & DCI Sweden.

For more WIWT-post - check here.

For more pics - @dresslikea / instagram.

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Earlier this week I wrote shortly about sport coats for fall and winter (you can find the post here). As I know that most of the jackets featured in the first part can be beyond reach for many thanks to high prices, I decided to take a quick look to some options suitable in case looking a blazer with a bit lower budget.

Fact is that there are not many brands / manufacturers making quality sport coats with a low retail price. SuitSupply is one and then there’s brands such as Land’s End, J.Crew, Club Monaco, Massimo Dutti and Boggi but some of these can be hard to get in case you are living in certain countries and in some it’s at least arguable if the quality really is on pair with the retail price after all.

So basically the option is either to wait for sales (and take the risk that you might not get the jacket you wanted in the first place) or to try and look for websites (outlets) selling pieces (from mainly previous collections) with prices much more affordable.

For shops worth taking a look - check here. There is also a thread @tyylit.fi-forum where there’s listed multiple web shops with great selection. Finding the right piece might be a bit more hard this way but it will sure be rewarding. One of the negative things regarding these sites is that based on the pics they’ve got you can never know how the garments will really look or how it should fit. So my advice is to stay with the labels / brands you already know and minimize the risks.

Finally picked 5 different options available with a budget under 400 euros.

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Who says one can’t wear light shades during fall and winter? A jacket featuring 3-roll-2 buttoning, soft shoulders and mix of cotton and wool together with herringbone pattern goes perfectly with corduroy or a bit more heavier cotton slacks. 

Brando via Yoox

imageIf you are on budget, one option is to try to find a suit where the jacket and trousers can be also used as separates. If you choose to go on this path try to avoid suits with heavily padded and strongly constructed jackets, light (worsted) wool fabrics or “business-oriented” patterns such as chalk or pinstripes.

It’s also good to remember that with this option you might run into the problem of your pants and jacket soiling and wearing at different rates which could in the end make them impossible to wear as a suit. And that’s something you don’t want.

A good option in case looking a “casual suit” that goes for office but can be used as separates could be a blue one made of wool and featuring a subtle check pattern and patch pockets. 

Hudson fit by SuitSupply

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About a month ago together with a few friends we got this idea of taking part for a happening called Tough Viking - now being organized for the first time in Helsinki. Although I wasn’t’ suppose to be in the team in the first place as I got the weekend already scheduled for other things but in the end it seems that in a couple of hours I will be participating for this run after all. 

12km run and 15 obstacles including ice water, mud, fire, monkey bars, american football players and electricity… 

To read more - check the part I, II and III @tyylit.fi.

Throwback - last days of vacation x fwstockholm
Before getting back at work this week, got to spent few days last week in Sweden checking out the Stockholm fashion week. More importantly (or basically the reason why I headed to Stockholm in the first place) got the invite and chance to participate the launch party of Eton x Eidos-collection (more about that coming later this week) - great collection and great people.
For the launch decided that it was also time for the first wear of roll necks this season. For the whole last winter I looked for a cream / off-white sweater until I found this one in May (made by Sand) - a perfect choice to balance the grey double-breasted herringbone suit by Rose&Born and the snuff suede mto-loafers from Meermin. I might have worn socks as well but did not pack a pair with me for the trip - so went without.
Suit: Rose&Born Roll neck: Sand Shoes: Meermin
Shades: Balenciaga Bracelet: DCI Sweden Throwback - last days of vacation x fwstockholm
Before getting back at work this week, got to spent few days last week in Sweden checking out the Stockholm fashion week. More importantly (or basically the reason why I headed to Stockholm in the first place) got the invite and chance to participate the launch party of Eton x Eidos-collection (more about that coming later this week) - great collection and great people.
For the launch decided that it was also time for the first wear of roll necks this season. For the whole last winter I looked for a cream / off-white sweater until I found this one in May (made by Sand) - a perfect choice to balance the grey double-breasted herringbone suit by Rose&Born and the snuff suede mto-loafers from Meermin. I might have worn socks as well but did not pack a pair with me for the trip - so went without.
Suit: Rose&Born Roll neck: Sand Shoes: Meermin
Shades: Balenciaga Bracelet: DCI Sweden Throwback - last days of vacation x fwstockholm
Before getting back at work this week, got to spent few days last week in Sweden checking out the Stockholm fashion week. More importantly (or basically the reason why I headed to Stockholm in the first place) got the invite and chance to participate the launch party of Eton x Eidos-collection (more about that coming later this week) - great collection and great people.
For the launch decided that it was also time for the first wear of roll necks this season. For the whole last winter I looked for a cream / off-white sweater until I found this one in May (made by Sand) - a perfect choice to balance the grey double-breasted herringbone suit by Rose&Born and the snuff suede mto-loafers from Meermin. I might have worn socks as well but did not pack a pair with me for the trip - so went without.
Suit: Rose&Born Roll neck: Sand Shoes: Meermin
Shades: Balenciaga Bracelet: DCI Sweden

Throwback - last days of vacation x fwstockholm

Before getting back at work this week, got to spent few days last week in Sweden checking out the Stockholm fashion week. More importantly (or basically the reason why I headed to Stockholm in the first place) got the invite and chance to participate the launch party of Eton x Eidos-collection (more about that coming later this week) - great collection and great people.

For the launch decided that it was also time for the first wear of roll necks this season. For the whole last winter I looked for a cream / off-white sweater until I found this one in May (made by Sand) - a perfect choice to balance the grey double-breasted herringbone suit by Rose&Born and the snuff suede mto-loafers from Meermin. I might have worn socks as well but did not pack a pair with me for the trip - so went without.

Suit: Rose&Born Roll neck: Sand Shoes: Meermin

Shades: Balenciaga Bracelet: DCI Sweden